While so many talented athletes have made their mark on our sports, we want to highlight three for their storied careers in a sport that got its start right here at Stratton with Jake Burton Carpenter, whose US Open was first to award equal prize money for women and men.
Suzie Rueck was a Stratton Mountain School ski racer who was keen to try that new sport making a splash at Stratton in the early ’80s. She learned to ride from the best, soon winning US Open slalom and giant slalom events, riding for the early Burton team, and going on to coach a generation of pros in a new Stratton seasonal program for snowboarders, including Tricia Byrnes.
It was 1992 when a 17-year-old Stratton amateur took the US Open halfpipe trophy. Tricia Byrnes stood atop the podium with second place Nicole Angelrath. Tina Basich was third. Shannon Dunn and Michele Taggart were also among the world-class riders in the field that day. Tricia went on to score 15 World Cup victories, the 2001 Grand Prix halfpipe championship and a berth on the 2002 US Olympic Team.
Ten years later, another 17-year-old Stratton amateur would top the US Open podium, this time in boardercross. Lindsey Jacobellis started snowboarding in 1996 when a house fire destroyed her skis. She joined brother Benny in Strattton’s Night Rider series under the lights on Tyrolienne, soon beating all the boys. In 2002, the SMS student qualified for a spot and won the US Open in a discipline that would define her career.
The most decorated athlete in snowboard history, Lindsey has earned more than 31 World Cup victories, 10 X Games Gold Medals, 6 World Championships and a Silver Medal in the 2006 Olympics. She has competed in four Olympic Games, adopting one of the stray dogs hanging around the athlete village in 2014. You may see her here with “Sochi.” While competing around the world in winter and surfing all summer, Stratton is the still the place she calls home.
Along with supporting several causes, Lindsey is also a mentor for Super Girl Snow Pros.
“It’s incredibly important to lay the foundation for the future of women’s snowboarding, Supergirl Pro does a great job of empowering women and putting pros and amateurs together in a unique environment so that we can pass along our experiences to the next generation,” explains Lindsey Jacobellis.